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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Errors and Omissions in Bill C-38 as Passed by the House: The Need for Senate Recommendations for Amendments

Brief by Iain Benson

In this brief Iain T. Benson argues that, in the case of divisive issues like marriage, special attention must be paid to process and analysis. In this case, special consideration needs to be given to groups (both religious and non-religious) that respectfully disagree with the new same-sex inclusive constitutional norm being created by law and politics. The author argues that Bill C-38, as it currently stands, is badly conceived. He focuses on the errors in principle, and the need to draft the required amendment. Without these changes, Benson contends, the Bill will create confusion and lead to litigation.

Benson outlines several recommendations: 1) there is a need to protect all citizens; 2) there is a need to protect “conscience” as well as “religious beliefs” and ensure federal/provincial agreement on protections before the act is proclaimed; 3) charitable status and charitable protection amendments need to be extended beyond merely religious purpose charities and to applications as well as penalties; 4) delete the word “civil” and call it the “Marriage Act;” and delete the phrase “for civil purposes” from section 2; and 5) add a second definition of marriage to the “Marriage Act.”

In addition to his recommendations, the author also suggests completely rejecting this bill and developing an alternative. Benson concludes by exploring why the Senate Committee ought to make recommendations and amendments.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Iain Benson;
Publisher: Centre for Cultural Renewal [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF, Hard Copy

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Children & Family / Marriage
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Marriage / 2005
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation / 2005
Policy Articles / Children & Family
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice


Keywords / Tags:

marriage; religious groups; non-religious groups; Bill C-38; religious beliefs; Marriage Act; charitable status; charitable protection amendments; civil purposes;